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What happens when a family member is diagnosed with a disability?

The news may overwhelm you and even have you at your wit’s end. However, you would want to leave no stones unturned when caring for that family member.

You may be vexed about several considerations such as meeting his/her needs properly, giving him/her appropriate accommodation, and learning more about the health care services available for him/her. Fortunately, with the plethora of disability aids available today, your job can get a bit simpler.

Moreover, all that your family member needs is your love and support. Give him/her that and you will help him/her maintain his/her good health.

Wondering how to get started?

Here are a few tips that can help you take proper care of your family member.

1. Learn about Your Family Member’s Disability

Gather as much information as possible about your family member’s disability. This will help you understand his/her needs in a better way.

Learn more about his/her health condition(s). Several conditions can be managed and monitored at home effectively. However, there are others that may require managed care facility or even lengthy stays at the hospital. Being informed will help you make informed health decisions regarding him/her.

Make sure to research about the important aspects related to his/her disability including treatment options, outcomes that can be expected, and the type and of help that will be needed.

Also, familiarize yourself with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other state and national provisions. Learn how and when to apply them to your situation.

2. Maintaining Your Loved One’s Health and Well-Being

A family member with a disability may require extra care and attention. Work out his/her needs so that he/she can live a healthy and fulfilling life.

Keep in touch with your family member’s health care professional. Talk to him/her clearly when you’re facing an issue or having a concern regarding your family member’s health. Take care of the aspects that he/she asks you to. Moreover, keep abreast of the changes and the improvements in your family member’s health.

Make sure that he/she adopts a healthy lifestyle, one that includes the following:

  • Consuming a healthy and balanced diet
  • Indulging in physical activities on a regular basis
  • Meditating for maintaining peace of mind and managing stress
  • Strictly avoiding substance abuse

With a healthy mind, body and soul, your family member will be able to focus better on his/her goals, dreams, and live a happier life.

However, don’t forget to take care of yourself in the process of looking after your family member. You need to be physically and mentally healthy in order to take care of him/her in the right manner.

Don’t let caregiving consume your life entirely. You need to maintain a proper balance between the two. For this, it is important that you maintain your health, personal interests and hobbies. Most importantly, don’t stress your limits. Set reasonable expectations.

3. Get Help When Needed

Taking care of a family member who has a disability can be an extremely tough job. There may be times when you may feel frustrated and want to give up. But, this is where you need to be strong and ensure that the frustration doesn’t get to you. In tough times like these, it is best to ask for help.

Getting extra help won’t only make your life simpler, but also help combat the isolation you may experience when you’re taking care of your family member single-handedly.

Join a local or online support group. A support group can give you the chance to share information and connect with people who are dealing with similar issues. There are several local and national groups that provide services, recreational activities and information regarding people with special needs. Consider joining them.

4. Other Essentials to Keep in Mind

  • Renovate the house and make it more accessible and disabled-friendly. This will help your family member live comfortably and manage his/her daily tasks independently.
  • Plan trips and visits outside with your family member from time-to-time as that will help break the monotony of his/her regular routine.
  • If he/she is interested in recreational activities, then you can keep that in mind and help him/her plan his/her routine accordingly.
  • You can consider buying a guide dog for your family member if he/she is fond of pets. A guide dog will not only serve as a great companion, but also enhance his/her daily living to a great extent.
  • Use technology to your benefit. Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, knee walkers and mobility scooters can help maximize your family member’s independence and productivity. They can make their daily living simpler and better.
  • Most importantly, always look at the bright side. Don’t focus on unachieved milestones. Instead, concentrate on your family member’s strengths and celebrate his/her accomplishments. This will encourage him/her greatly.


Taking care of a family member with special needs can be downright difficult. It can drain you both, physically and emotionally. However, it has its own pluses and can prove to be rewarding. Moreover, the happiness he/she will experience by having you by their side will touch you deeply. Follow the above-mentioned tips and you will help enhance his/her daily living. Being with your family member when he/she needs you the most and taking proper care of him/her will also impact your life profoundly and enrich it further.

Author's Bio: 

Korie Cantor is a blogger and writer who blogs about fashion and lifestyle. She possesses a great sense of style. Being a fashionista, she loves to share her thoughts about fashion and it's latest trends.